Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Phil

Happy Birthday Phil Lesh!!!

From Wikipedia:

Phil Lesh
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Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead
Phillip Chapman Lesh (born March 15, 1940 in Berkeley, California) is a musician and a founding member of the band Grateful Dead; he played bass guitar in that group throughout their entire 30-year career.

Lesh started out as a trumpet player with a keen interest in avant-garde classical music and free jazz; he also studied under the Italian modernist Luciano Berio (a classmate was the minimalist composer Steve Reich). While still a college student he met then-bluegrass banjo player Jerry Garcia. They formed a friendship and eventually Lesh was talked into becoming the bass guitarist for Garcia's new rock group, then known as the Warlocks. He joined them for their third or fourth gig (memories vary) and stayed until the end.

Lesh had never played bass before joining the band, which meant he learned "on the job", but it also meant he had no preconceived attitudes about the instrument's traditional "rhythm section" role. Indeed, he has said that his playing style was influenced more by Bach counterpoint than by rock or soul bass players (although one can also hear the fluidity and power of a jazz bassist such as Charles Mingus or Jimmy Garrison in Lesh's work).

Lesh, along with Jack Bruce, John Entwistle, and Jack Casady, was an innovator in the new role that the electric bass developed during the mid-1960s. These players adjusted the bass so that it was louder and had a plush, pervasive timbre. Previous to this, bass players in rock had generally played a conventional timekeeping role within the beat of the song, and within (or underpinning) the song's harmonic or chord structure. While not entirely abandoning these aspects, Lesh took his own improvised excursions during a song or instrumental. This was a characteristic aspect of the so-called San Francisco Sound in the new rock music. In a great Dead jam, Lesh's bass is, in essence, as much a lead instrument as Garcia's guitar.

Lesh was not a prolific composer or singer with the Grateful Dead, although the songs he did contribute—"Box of Rain", "Unbroken Chain", "New Potato Caboose", "Childhood's End", etc.—are among the best-loved in the band's repertoire. His interest in avant-garde music was a crucial influence on the Dead, pushing them into new territory, and he was an essential part of the group and its mystique, best summed-up in the Deadhead truism: "If Phil's on, the band's on".
After the disbanding of the Grateful Dead, Lesh continued to play with its offshoots The Other Ones and The Dead, as well as performing as Phil Lesh and Friends (one memorable tour paired him with Bob Dylan) and running the charitable Unbroken Chain Foundation.
Lesh and wife Jill have two sons.

In 1998 Phil underwent a liver transplant as a result of chronic Hepatitis C infection; since then, he has become an outspoken advocate for organ donor programs. Since then, on Phil & Friend's tours, and during The Dead's tours, he regularly gave a speech (dubbed a "donor rap" on the band's live CD's from each show of the tour) encouraging Deadheads to be organ donors.
In April, 2005, Phil's book Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead (ISBN 0316009989) was published. To date, this is the only book about the Grateful Dead written by a member of the Grateful Dead.
In June of 2006, Lesh will be appearing at the Bonnaroo music festival.

External Links
Phil Lesh and Friends Official Site

From DeadDiscs:

Phil Lesh Discography
This is a discography of recordings that include Phil Lesh. The discography is presented with titles grouped according to his involvement.

Phil Lesh was a founder member of the Grateful Dead. He performed and recorded with the Dead from 1965 through to 1995. He occasionally contributed as a guest to other albums. Since 1995 he has performed and recorded with the Other Ones and Phil & Friends.

Phil Lesh contributed to all Grateful Dead recordings. See the Grateful Dead Discography for a full listing of these recordings. This section includes his contribution to recordings away from the Grateful Dead.

Solo, group leader or co-leader albums

Solo, group leader or co-leader - major albums
The Strange Remain, The Other Ones, 1999
Love Will See You Through, Highlights Volume One, Phil Lesh and Friends, 1999
There and Back Again, Phil Lesh & Friends, 2002
Searching for the Sound : My Life in the Grateful Dead Audio CD, Phil Lesh, 2005

Solo, group leader or co-leader - compilations
Furthur, Various Artists, 1997
Furthur More, Various Artists, 1997
Sing Out For Seva, Various Artists, 1999
Furthur Most, Various Artists, 2000
KFOG - Live from the Archives, Vol. 8, Various Artists, 2001
KBCO Studio C, Vol. 14, Various Artists, 2002
Live From Bonnaroo, Various Artists, 2002
Live From Bonnaroo Music Festival 2003, Various Artists, 2003
Live From Bonnaroo Music Festival 2004, Various Artists, 2005

Playing contributions to other albums
With others - Major albums
If I Could Only Remember My Name...., David Crosby, 1971
Songs For Beginners, Graham Nash, 1971
Graham Nash and David Crosby, Graham Nash and David Crosby, 1972
Ace, Bob Weir 1972
Rolling Thunder, Mickey Hart, 1972
Demon In Disguise, David Bromberg 1972
Wanted Dead Or Alive, David Bromberg 1974
Seastones, Ned Lagin, 1975
Reflections, Jerry Garcia, 1976
The Rhythm Devils Play River Music, The Rhythm Devils, 1980
Before Time Began, New Riders Of The Purple Sage/David Nelson, 1986
Apocalypse Now Sessions, The Rhythm Devils, 1989
Seastones (Extended Version), Ned Lagin, 1991
The Deep End, Vol. 2, Gov't Mule, 2002
Now & Then, The Rowan Brothers, 2004

With others - Singles
Music Is Love / Laughing, David Crosby, 1971 I Used To Be A King / Wounded Bird, Graham Nash, 1971 One More Saturday Night / Cassidy, Bob Weir, 1972 Blind John / Pump Song, Mickey Hart, 1972 Southbound Train / The Wall Song, Graham Nash and David Crosby, 1972

With others - compilations
Burbank, Various Artists, 1972
Days Of Wine & Vinyl, Various Artists, 1972
Rock's Greatest Hits, Various Artists, 1972
Sampler For Deadheads (#3 of 3), Robert Hunter / Ned Lagin, 1975
For Dead Heads (UK release), Various Artists 1976
Out Of The Blues, David Bromberg 1977
The Best Of Crosby And Nash, David Crosby and Graham Nash 1978
Apocalypse Now - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Various Artists, 1979
Relix Sampler (#2), Various Artists, 1989
Crosby, Stills and Nash Box Set, Crosby, Stills and Nash 1991
Relix's Best Of The Early New Riders Of The Purple Sage, NRPS, 1995
Relix Bay Record Shop, Vol. 9 : Tribute To Jerry Garcia, Various Artists, 1997
The Player : Retrospective, David Bromberg 1998
Dead Delites, Vol. 4, Various Artists, 2000
Apocalypse Now Redux soundtrack, 2001
Over The Edge And Back, Mickey Hart, 2002
Weir Here: The Best Of Bob Weir, Bob Weir, 2004

Albums that include cover versions of Phil Lesh compositions
Compositions on albums - major albums

The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, The Stanford Band, 1972
Watkins Glen, King's Road, 1973
Step Up To Big Pay, Cache Valley Drifters, 1979
Jack O'Roses, Robert Hunter, 1980
The White EP, Pop-O-Pies, 1982
Joe's Second Record, Pop-O-Pies, 1984
Those Who Know History Are Doomed To Repeat It, Henry Kaiser, 1988
No Time, The Squalls, 1989
Juggling Suns, Solar Circus, 1989
Fresh Tracks In Real Time, Tom Constanten, 1989
Five Man Acoustical Jam, Tesla, 1990
Box Of Rain, Robert Hunter, 1990
Heart's Desire, The Henry Kaiser Band, 1990
Nicky Holland, Nicky Holland, 1991
Bloomington, Branford Marsalis Trio, 1991
Deadicated, Various Artists, 1991
Nightfall Of Diamonds, Tom Constanten, 1992
La Croix D'Amour, Dwight Yoakam, 1992
Hurricane's Eye, Robin Hurt, 1992
A Historical Retrospective, Solar Circus, 1993
Dead Ringers, Dead Ringers, 1994
Cover The Songs Of..., The Bobs, 1994
Code Of The West, Joe Gallant and Illuminati, 1994
The Infinite Summer Of Love, Various Artists (The Beast), 1994
Eternity Blue, Henry Kaiser, 1995
Long Live the Dead: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead, Billy and Terry Smith, 1996
Blue Morning, Toni Brown, 1996
Sloan Wainwright, Sloan Wainwright, 1996
Live At Roseland Ballroom, Gov't Mule, 1996
Dark Star - The Music of the Grateful Dead, David Murray, 1996
Blues For Allah Project, Joe Gallant and Illuminati, 1996
Deadbeats Acoustic, Deadbeats, 1996
Pickin' On The Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 1997
Fire On The Mountain - Reggae Celebrates The Grateful Dead - Volume 2, Various Artists, 1997 Jake's Leg, Jake's Leg, 1997
Space Debris, Space Debris, 1997
Welcome To Our World (For Members Only), JGB, 1998
Blue Light Rain, Jazz Is Dead, 1998
Release 1, The Schwag, 1998
The Serpent Unrolled, Fit & Limo, 1998
Realms, Jamie Janover, 1998
Mileage, Mick Overman, 1998
Greatest Hits, 1970-1998, The Stanford Band, 1998
Swingin' To The Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 1999
Terrapin, Joe Gallant and Illuminati, 1999
Grateful Dreams, Tom Constanten, 2000
Search For Intelligent Life, Dose Hermanos, 2000
Pickin' On The Grateful Dead, Vol. 2, Various Artists, 2000
Gratefully Yours, Jim Hudak, 2001
The Sea To The North, Garth Hudson, 2001
Live At Twenty North, Jake's Leg, 2001
Great Sky River, Jazz Is Dead, 2001
Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 2001
Gifts From The Dead, Gifts From The Dead, 2001
Electronic Tribute To The Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 2002
88 Keys to Tomorrow, Tom Constanten, 2002
Ukulele Summit 5, Various Artists, 2002
Reprise Please Baby: The Warner Bros, Dwight Yoakam, 2002

Compositions on albums - compilations
Disturbing The Peace: 415 Records Radio Sampler, Various Artists, 1983
Relix Bay Rock Shop No. 2, Various Artists, 1992
New York Downtown, Jazz and Other Sounds, Various Artists, 1997
Relix's Best Of Truck Driving Songs, Various Artists, 1997
Go Blue! The Ultimate Michigan Sports CD, Various Artists, 1998
Dead Delites, Vol. 1, Various Artists, 1998
Dead Delites, Vol. 2, Various Artists, 1998
Dead Delites, Vol. 3, Various Artists, 1998
Stolen Roses, Various Artists, 2000
Long Strange Trip: Swingin' and Pickin' on the Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 2001
In Others' Words, Dwight Yoakam, 2003
When We All Come Home, The Dragonflys, 2005

Other albums with a contribution from Lesh

Other albums
New Riders Of The Purple Sage, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, 1971 (Executive Producer)
James And The Good Brothers, James And The Good Brothers, 1971 (Thanked on the cover)
Havergal Brian Symphony No 3, BBC Symphony Orchestra, 1989 (Thanked in the CD booklet)
#1, Skylab, 1995 (sampled use of voice)
The Music Of The Grateful Dead And Beyond, Joe Gallant and Illuminati, 1998 (Thanked in the CD booklet)


Blogger Helen said...

Let it shine Phil. Let it shine!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006  

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